Not All About that Facebook: Political Campaigns and Civic Engagement in the 2015 Elections
Israel Affairs, No. 22, Vol 3-4, pp. 711-726, 2016
18 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2016 Last revised: 16 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 7, 2016
Only 26 months separate the elections for the 19th Knesset (January 2013) from those for the 20th (March 2015), yet the digital campaigns employed in the latter demonstrate interesting shifts. Using empirical data collected from social network sites and from journalistic campaign coverage, this article analyses the use of the online sphere by parties, candidates and audiences, identifying evolving shifts in digital campaigning. The findings point out the reoccurrence of some trends, whether intensified or otherwise, as well as the emergence of new trends that illustrate the evolution of Israeli online campaigning. The prominent recurring trends are (1) personal politics; (2) professionalized campaigns; (3) alternative funding models; (4) social activism; and (5) constant violation of election law provisions. The new trends include: (1) Facebook’s alternatives; and (2) assimilation of web culture into the campaigns. Analysing the findings suggests that current campaigns focus on entertainment rather than on real discourse and stress the obsolescence of the current legal regime.
Keywords: Online Campaigns, Personal Politics, Civic Engagement, Facebook, WhatsApp, Memes, Gamification
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation